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Cape Town arson suspect to appear in court while metro cops gather CCTV footage

20 April 2021 11:11 AM
Tags:
Arson
City of Cape Town
Cape Town fire
JP Smith
CCTV footage
Homeless man
Table mountain fire

The man who's suspected to have started a secondary fire on the mountain on Sunday evening will appear in court on Tuesday.

That's according to the City of Cape Town's mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith.

Police are investigating the causes of the multiple fires along Table Mountain amid suspicion that a homeless person may have been responsible for at least one.

RELATED: 'When the officer asked him he said, but I started the fire' - JP Smith

A 30-year-old homeless man was taken into police custody on Sunday night after residents near Devil's Peak allegedly caught him starting a fire in the area.

Smith says law City law enformcent officers are currently gathering CCTV footage to see if any additional information is revealed.

RELATED: Forensic expert David Klatzow not convinced vagrant behind Table Mountain blaze

He says residents in Devil's Peak and Vredehoek have been asked to come forward with any evidence they might have.

At the same time, Smith has denied claims that the City is attempting to vilify or scapegoat homeless people for the Cape Town fires.

RELATED: [We saw the guys starting fires last night. It's so infuriating: Melanie Verwoerd](http://We saw the guys starting fires last night. It)

However, he claims homeless people have been responsible for at least three other fires near Vredeoek in the past.

Smith chats to CapeTalk host Kieno Kammies about the City's response to homelessness in Cape Town.

RELATED: 'SANParks and City have paid scant attention to dire risk of mountain dwellers'

That person is appearing in court today... so we will have to see what the outcome of that process is.

JP Smith, Mayoral committee member - Safety and security at City of Cape Town

It's not necessarily linked to the main fire... He was found at a fire by a member of the public.

JP Smith, Mayoral committee member - Safety and security at City of Cape Town

It doesn't necessarily mean he's linked to the [main] fire that started on Sunday morning... but he might know something. He might be one of the three persons, or not. These are matters that the police will have to determine.

JP Smith, Mayoral committee member - Safety and security at City of Cape Town

We're checking the CCTV footage to see if it reveals anything. We're asking any residents who have cameras on their houses that may have recorded people passing in the late afternoon or evening to advise us so that we can get that footage collected as well to cast more insight into the matter.

JP Smith, Mayoral committee member - Safety and security at City of Cape Town

There is no vilification [of homeless people] by the City. There is vilification by the public who are angry.

JP Smith, Mayoral committee member - Safety and security at City of Cape Town

Homeless people have started at least three significant fires that I can recall along that stretch at the back of Vredehoek... That's going to continue to happen so long as people continue to make fires in sensitive green belts attached to a whole mountain where serious consequences happen.

JP Smith, Mayoral committee member - Safety and security at City of Cape Town

Listen to the update on Today with Kieno Kammies:




20 April 2021 11:11 AM
Tags:
Arson
City of Cape Town
Cape Town fire
JP Smith
CCTV footage
Homeless man
Table mountain fire

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